Posts tagged ‘Gettysburg’

December 8, 2011

How To Spot a Ghost in Gettysburg!

Solomon's Bridge located on Solomon Rd. right off of Taneytown Rd./Rt. 15.

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, everybody likes to be scared.  Most people around Gettysburg have heard of Solomon’s Bridge.  More of a local legend than a widely known haunting, Solomon’s Bridge holds years of myth and wonder for ghost chasers.

On dark late nights, my friends and I would take a drive up to Solomon Rd. in Gettysburg.  Legend has it, if you park your car directly over the crack in the center of the bridge, turn off your car, put the windows up, close the vents, lock the doors, and put you car in neutral, something will happen.

A ghostly apparition of a woman will float over your car and your car won’t be able to start.  All of a sudden, you will feel your car rock back and forth as if somebody’s moving it.

My friends and I mustered up the courage to try it a few times. And it was a few times that my car wouldn’t start, and we felt the car move as if someone were pushing it.

One time in particular, my friend Brittany and I drove up to Gettysburg in her green Ford Probe on a chilly night.  We decided to check-out Solomon’s Bridge, just the two of us. So we did what we usually did, parked the car in the center of the bridge, shut everything off, just  like usual.

Well, we sat there for a few minutes and after nothing seemed to be happening, we were about to leave when all of a sudden we heard a knocking coming from the inside of the dashboard.

Brittany went to start her car up and turned the heat on when a beetle shot out of the passenger side vent and hit the window. We both screamed as Brittany hit the gas pedal, scurrying down the road in panic. All of a sudden, a huge beam of light came gleaming out of the woods and penetrated right through the window.

Swerving off the road, Brittany hit a bat, which left some excremate on the windshield by the way, and flew off into the night. One of the most scariest nights we have ever experienced at Solomon’s Bridge. I don’t believe we’ve been back there much since,.

December 8, 2011

My Top Ten War Movie Picks!

1. Cold Mountain

In the waning days of the American Civil War, a wounded soldier embarks on a perilous journey back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart.

2. Full Metal Jacket

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow Marine recruits from their brutal basic training to the bloody street fighting set in 1968 Hue, Vietnam.

3. Gettysburg

In 1863, the Northern and Southern forces fight at Gettysburg in the decisive battle of the American Civil War.

4. God’s and Generals

Gods and Generals follows the rise and fall of legendary war hero Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson as he leads the Confederacy to great success against the Union from 1861 to 1863. Prequel to the 1993 classic “Gettysburg”.

5. Gone With the Wind

American classic in which a manipulative woman and a roguish man carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction.

6. Inglorious Bastards

In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as “The Basterds” are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis.

7. The Patriot

Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.

8. Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor follows the story of two best friends, Rafe and Danny, and their love lives as they go off to join the war.

9. Saving Private Ryan

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of US soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

10. Schindler’s List

In Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis.

(All movie descriptions are provided by IMBD’s webpage.)

December 4, 2011

10 Fun Things To Do in Gettysburg in December!

1. An Eisenhower Christmas- Starts Dec. 1st- 31st at Eisenhower National Historic Site, Gettysburg, Pa.

Shuttle bus leaves 1195 Baltimore Pike running from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m.

The Eisenhower home is decorated for Christmas exactly like it was during the time Eisenhower lived there.

http://www.nps.gov/eise

2. Wine and Holiday Food Pairing-  On Dec. 2nd runs 5 p.m. till 9 p.m., 8th, 15th & 22nd runs 5 p.m. till 8 p.m. at Reid’s Orchard & Winery Tasting Room at Jennie’s House located at 242 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, Pa.

Holiday wine and food pairing guide while trying wine and foods and dips.

http://www.reidsorchardwinery.com

3. Jennie Wade Open House- Runs Dec. 3rd- 18th at the Jennie Wade House located at 548 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, Pa.

The Jennie Wade House opens to celebrate the holidays with refreshments and music from 4 p.m. till 10 p.m.

http://www.gettysburgbattlefieldbustours.com

4. Holiday Festival of Lights- Nov. 1st- Jan. 2nd located at the Gettysburg Village Outlets 1863 Gettysburg Village Drive on Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, Pa.

Enjoy the light festivities and complimentary hot cocoa and live music, or a 3-D holiday movie every Friday night at the outlets.

http://www.theoutletshoppesatgettysburg.com

5. Civil War Holiday Dinner Theater- Runs Dec. 2nd-Dec. 17th Fridays and Saturdays only at The Farnsworth House Inn & Restaurant located at 401 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, Pa.

Period dressed actors will portray holiday customs from the home front and war front of the Civil War era and sing Christmas Carols.  The dinner will include drinks, soup, salads, side dishes, the main course, and dessert.  The evening’s events will end in the inn’s cellar with ghost stories about one of America’s most haunted houses.

Cost for admission and dinner is $39.95 for adults & $19.95 for children 10 and under.  Event begins at 7 p.m.

6. Hauser After Hours- Nov. 5th- Dec. 17th on Saturdays only at Hauser Estate Winery located at 410 Cashtown Road, Biglerville, Pa.

Come enjoy live music, food, and wine at the Hauser House Winery.  Pay per plate for food and wine can be ordered by the glass or by the bottle.  Admission is free.

http://www.hauserestate.com

7. Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker- Mon. Dec. 12th at 7:30 p.m. at the Majestic Theater located at 25 Carlisle Street, Gettysburg, Pa.

Ticket pricing begins at $75.80, to $53.80, to $42.25, and as low as $31.25a ticket.

http://www.gettysburgmajestic.org

8. Winter Solstice Celebration- Dec. 17th -Dec.18th from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. at Liberty Mountain Resort located at 78 Country Club Road, Carroll Valley, Pa.

You can enjoy lots of fun at Liberty Mountain skiing, boarding, or tubing during the Winter Solstice kick-off celebration.

http://www.libertymountainresort.com

9. Wrap It Up- Sat. Dec. 24th from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Reid’s Orchard & Winery located at 242 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, Pa.

Bring up to three gifts to be wrapped by elves and enjoy a glass of wine, you purchase, while celebrating the holidays.

10. Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge- Dec. 28th from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Liberty Mountain Resort located at 78 Country Club Road, Carroll Valley, Pa.

The Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge is a special racing series that is open to all ages and ability levels. A duel Giant Slalom course will be set up on Lower Blue Streak trail. Skiers and snowboarders are divided by gender and age group to compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals in each category. In addition to the race, prizes are given away throughout the day. The course is easy accessed and viewed from the main Base Area. Admission into the race is free, however, purchase of a lift ticket is required.

http://www.libertymountainresort.com

 

December 4, 2011

Eisenhower National Historic Site!

Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farm

Eisenhower National Historic Site.

In the 1950’s President Dwight D. Eisenhower bought a farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania next to the National Military Park.  The farmhouse sat on one hundred-and-eighty-nine acres of land and later grew into two-hundred-and thirty acres of estate.

The original farmhouse that sat on the land was replaced and in its place, a Georgian home was built from the ground up.  The farmhouse was used as a weekend-get-away and a sometimes “temporary White House.”

Eisenhower’s farm was also used as a cattle ranch used to raise Angus beef.  The farm was even used as a meeting ground for political groups and foreign dignitaries.

The Eisenhower farm is open year-round.  You can’t get to the farm driving on your own, you have to go to the Visitor’s Center in Gettysburg and purchase tickets for the tour.  A shuttle bus actually takes you to the site.

 Tour of the farm is approximately one or two hours long.  The tour is a self-guided tour of the house.  The tour also includes an exhibit and a bookstore.  When your touring, you can also walk along the grounds, check-out the skeet range exhibit, or view a 20 minute program about Eisenhower’s life and work, guided by a park ranger.

Artifacts on display at the Eisenhower farm exhibit.

December 2, 2011

Downtown Gettysburg’s Historic Walking Tour!

Abe Lincoln in Lincoln Square Gettysburg, Pa.

Gettysburg offers many walking tours.  Ghost tours are especially fun, but if you would like to try a walking tour without a town-guide, you can grab a brochure at the Visitor’s Center located on Baltimore Street in Gettysburg and take yourself for a walk around town.  The little paper guide will take you along a historic path pointing out all of the Civil-War era buildings in downtown Gettysburg.

Each building is marked with a bronze plaque which explains the significance of the establishment.  It’s amazing how many buildings in Gettysburg are Civil-War era and why they were so important to their time.

The tour starts out at the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station where President Abraham Lincoln arrived on the day before he gave his famous speech, the Gettysburg Address.  The railroad station is a pretty cool place to check-out.  It looks exactly how it would look like 150 years ago.

Gettysburg Train Station where President Abraham Lincoln arrived at to deliver his famous Gettysburg Address at the Soldier's National Museum..

As you walk along Lincoln Square, your pamphlet will explain the history behind the different buildings you will pass by on your tour.  One of the buildings you will stop by just so happens to be the oldest standing house in Gettysburg, the Hoke-Codori House, which is located on York Street.

Also on York Street is the former “Plank’s Garage,” owned by the Baseball Hall of Famer, Eddie Plank.  “Gettysburg Eddie’s,” a local Gettysburg restaurant, was named after the famous baseball pitcher.

One of your stops will be the famous David Wills House, known to be the place Abraham Lincoln stayed the night before he gave the Gettysburg Address.   You will walk the path that Lincoln walked to get to the cemetery where he gave his famous speech.

You will pass by homes that were used by sharpshooters during the battle, which still carry the same bullet holes in their walls from the battle.

On your tour, you will stop by the Farnsworth House, as well as the famous Shriver Home, the James Getty Hotel, and eventually ending up right back at Lincoln’s Square.  Very interesting buildings and history here!

December 2, 2011

Check-Out Gettysburg’s National Cemetery Walking Tour!

Gettysburg's National Soldier's Cemetery.

If you want to tour Gettysburg, check out the walking tour through the Soldier’s National Cemetery.  I know walking through a cemetery doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, and might sound a little bit creepy.  However, you might find a tour of the cemetery to be pretty fun and educational.

The walking  tour starts out on Taneytown Road, there’s an empty lot right there where you can park, across the road is a short walking path that you take to cross into the entrance of the cemetery.  This path will take you across the road and into the cemetery.

A map will guide you so that you can know where to stop while you are walking.  The gravesites in the museum are marked by states from Illinois all the way to Indiana.  A monument is also in the place where Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address.

The tour will also give you a chance to check-out the Soldier’s National Monument and the gatehouse of the famous Evergreen Cemetery where Jennie Wade and John Burns were buried.

Your first stop will be the cemetery entrance, near the site of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.  The second stop you will make is the 1st Massachusetts Battery.  This stop recognizes the importance of Union artillery and infantry during the three days of battle.

Your third stop will be Lincoln’s Speech Memorial site.  Your fourth stop will then be the Evergreen Cemetery’s entrance.  The Evergreen Cemetery is in fact part of the Soldier’s National Cemetery.

Your final stop on your walking tour will be the Soldier’s National Monument.  The cemetery was officially dedicated on November 19, 1863 along with the Gettysburg Address.  Lincoln’s Address was composed in the White House, and at the David Wills House the night before he delivered it.

December 2, 2011

The David Wills House!

The David Wills House Honors President Abe Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

The David Wills House.

The David Wills House is a museum located in downtown  Gettysburg square, 8 Lincoln Square.  The museum is a tribute to President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.

The museum offers a self-guided tour, there’s no need for a tour guide at this museum.  The walking tour will guide visitors through the months and years following the Battle of Gettysburg and what devastation and rebuilding the town had went through during post-war.

The walking tour takes about 30-45 minutes and includes five galleries, two recreated rooms, including the Lincoln bedroom, two interactive stations, two films, and a gift shop.

A plaque on the outside of the David Wills House.

Interactive text and artifacts are also on display at the David Wills House for tourists to view.  The National Park Service Museum was dedicated to the memory of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

 The David Wills House offers group tours as well as school trip tours or individual walk-in tours.  Overall, it’s a really cool place to go and check-out if you’re not into listening to a tour guide talk for an hour. 🙂

November 24, 2011

The Battle of Gettysburg and Jennie Wade: The Only Civilian Casualty During the Battle of Gettysburg!

Jennie Wade

On the evening of June 30, 1863, General John Bufford and his division of over 3,000 Northern soldiers came through Gettysburg by way of Emmitsburg Road in search of General Lee’s army. By Wenesday, July 1, Confederate General Henry Heth’s division of over 5,000 infantrymen poured into town. when the two opposing sides encountered one another just west of the Seminary, the battle began, marking the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg.

The first day of war was an incomplete confederate victory, with the Northern Army of Potomac being forced to retreat. As the troops made their way into town, sharpshooters seized people’s homes, using them as look-outs and hiding places. As the battle went on, Confederate troops, all tweleve thousand of them went up against the Army of the Potomac. This final assault ultimately eneded the conflict.

By four o’clock in the afternoon, the Confederate troops were down. More than 10,000 casualties on both sides. The numbers afterwards would more than increase the number of deaths. After the war, music and drum beats filled the streets to let the townspeople know that the war was over with. The village had to pick up all the pieces after the war was over; the aftermath, the dead bodies, destroyed town, and tragic losses. One family in particular had to deal with the loss of their beloved daughter, and sister; Mary “Jennie:Virginia Wade.

Jennie Wade happens to be the only civilian casualty killed during the Battle of Gettysburg. Although she is the only civilian casualty during those three days of battle, there were three local Pennsylvania men along with two other civilians who were injured as a result of the battle.  Civilian casualty during the Civil War, or any war for that fact, is not a common thing

I did some research at the Adams County Historical Society and read a very good book written by Cindy L. Small, a Communications/Journalism major who graduated from Shippensburg University in Pa. Small did extensive research and found accurate sources to gather all of the information needed to write a true account of the events leading up to Jennie Wade’s death, along with background information on her family and friends.

Brian Kennell, the Superintendent at the Evergreen Cemetery, also recommend that I read her book, “The Jennie Wade Story: A True and Complete Account of the Only Civilian Killed During the Battle of Gettysburg,” which I purchased at the Adams County Historical Society.

I began my research with the information that I gathered from, “The Jennie Wade Story,” book, the research that I had done at the historical society and the Evergreen Cemetery, and my tour with the Jennie Wade House.

According to sources, a few other casualties were mentioned during the Civil War. One of the three local Pennsylvania men was Jacob Gilbert who was shot in the upper left arm by a stray bullet while walking down Middle St.

Mr. Lehman, a local college student, received injuries due to a shot in the leg. Another college student, a student of the seminary, was injured by a sharpshooter in his thigh. Finally, a Mr. R.F. McIlhenny was injured his ankle while shots rang out.

November 23, 2011

10 Things To Do On A Rainy Day!

Here’s a list of some fun things to do on a rainy day in Gettysburg!

Number One

Check out souvenir shops in Gettysburg and dress up in Davey Crocket hats and pose with fake muskets while your friend takes a picture.

Number Two

Play Just Dance for Wii, or sit back and watch your friends attempt to dance and laugh at their rendition of MC Hammer’s, “Can’t Touch This.”

Number Three

Take pictures of you and your friends making funny faces and post them on Facebook.

Number Four

Dress up like cops and robbers or any other form or variation of make-believe, you know like when you were a kid.  Maybe try playing a game or two of Hide-n-Seek or whip out some of those old board games like Shoots-n-Ladders.

Number 5

Gather some friends and eat some pizza at Mamma V’s in downtown Gettysburg.  It’s yummy and reasonably priced, you might even want to go downstairs and check out their bar and shoot a few games of pool or play darts.

Number Six

Take a drive up to Hollywood Casino and hit the card tables, although I wouldn’t recommend it…too easy to lose $10 in five minutes 🙂 Stick to the slot machines or the money wheel, I once saw a guy hit really big on that wheel, people usually win every time.

Number Seven

Drive to the closest Cracker Barrel and check-out all of the cool gadgets and old-school candy they have.  I like trying on funny hats and masks during Halloween lol.

Number Eight

Sit outside of the Gettysburg Hotel, preferably on a sunny day, but since we’re talking about things to do on a rainy day…you might want to sit under an umbrella or go inside and check-out their lounge.  Wherever you decide to sit, try their wine and martini selection, it’s delicious!  You’ll meet some pretty interesting out-of-towners if you stay a while, we did!

Number Nine

Pretend you’re singing Lady GaGa into a pool stick microphone while shooting pool at the Flying Bull Saloon in downtown Gettysburg with your BFF.

Number Ten

Sit around and watch the Twilight saga…all three.  Then go to the movies and watch Breaking  Part I 🙂  Yes, I am one of those people who can’t get enough of Twilight lol.

November 23, 2011

Local Cigar Shop Welcomes Cigar Smokers and Enthusiasts!

Union Cigar Shop located at 5 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg Pa

The first thing you may notice when you walk into the Union Cigar Club is the warm musk of cigar smoke and the dim lighting which offers a cozy nostalgic feel to the atmosphere.  To the left is a mini-bar lined with a few cigars on display, a few ashtrays, and an espresso machine.  To the back-end of the cigar shop, is a cozy lounge, with walls covered with photographs and old cigar signs.  A television broadcasting an old war film plays in the corner across from the wrap-around couch.  A man lounges on the couch, puffing away on a cigar as he watches the movie.

Union Cigar Club's coffee and cigar mini-bar.

The Union Cigar Club, owned by Bill Synnamon, is located in Gettysburg, Pa. where it has stood for the past six years.  The cigar shop is located just a block off of the square in downtown Gettysburg.  Benjamin Thornton, 31, is manager of Union Cigar Club, and has been working there for about five and a half years.

The cigar smoking lounge at Union Cigar Club.

Thornton talks about the different types of cigars that Union Cigar Club offers.  Cigars range in flavor and strength, and Union Cigar Club offers a wide range of selections.

“You got your mild cigars for beginners,” Thornton explains, “or people who just don’t wanna smoke something really strong, or what you would call morning cigar…which you smoke a milder cigar earlier in the day.”

More cigar selections.

Thornton explains, “As you go up in strength…,” the next step up  is a medium cigar, “Then you get something medurally darkest.”

Cigars can be compared to drinking wine or beer, “Fuller bodied or fuller flavor richer tobacco, richer strengths or flavors…that’d be like drinking your Guinness,” Thornton said.

Cigar box with cigars, cutter, and lighter included.

However, the wrapper itself (the leaves you see on the outside) control roughly 70-80 percent of the strength of a cigar.  A fuller bodied cigar is not for beginners.  It can make a new smoker weak, even nauseous if they are not used to smoking a heavier cigar.  Trying to smoke one will, “Really knock you on your butt,” Thornton said.

“I’ve even seen guys toss their cookies if smoking like a really strong cigar.”

Inhaling a cigar is a misconception, Thornton explains, you’re not really supposed to inhale them.

“If you wanna see somebody turn three shades of green, don’t,” Thornton laughs.

There’s a lot of nicotine in cigars.  Even though you’re not supposed to inhale cigars, you can still get a lot of nicotine from the heavy second-hand smoke.

Union Cigar Club's various cigar selections.

Many of Union Cigar Club’s cigar collection comes from South America, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, and they even carry Cuban seed cigars.  They don’t actually carry cigars grown in Cuba, since there is an embargo against trade with Cuba, so you’d have to go out of the country to actually purchase Cuban cigars.

Union Cigar Club has a little coffee bar which offers up espresso, coffee, hot chocolate, and other refreshments for guests.  They not only offer cigars, but they also carry cigar boxes, a wide selection of what they call “chick cigars” meaning flavored cigars, as well as tobacco, pipes, hookahs, hashish, and butane lighters.

Union Cigar Club's hookah selection.

“Butane burns tasteless, odorless, clear,” Thornton explains they are more effective for a lighting a cigar, especially thick cigars.

Thornton says that when it comes to the price of cigars, people more or less pay for a brand name, like anything else.

“When you’re talking about good cigars, reflective with the price, cigars are rated.  When they rate a cigar, they take into account the quality of the tobacco and cigars, like wine, get better with age.  So the longer you age the tobacco after you harvest it,  the better it gets,” Thornton said.

The construction of a cigar also has to be taken into account when rating a cigar.  How well rolled the cigar is, can affect the consistency of the burning of the cigar.  A well rolled cigar will burn more evenly through so that the cigar doesn’t get clogged.  Both the tobacco itself and the quality of the roll of a cigar factor into how good of a cigar one is.

Union Cigar Club's pipe tobacco selection.

The better quality, most expensive cigar that Union Cigar Club offers is a Padron Anniversary cigar, which is out of Nicaragua.  This cigar will run you about $30.  However, price range for cigars varies state to state.

“That exact same stick in New York will cost you like 50, 60 bucks,” explains Thornton , “State to state, they all have different tobacco tax percentages and some have ridiculous,  like 100 percent tobacco tax.”

As of right now, Pa. doesn’t have a high tobacco tax, but that could change.